5-9 pm Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday. 5-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $$ Moderate.
[PIZZA IN THE GARDEN] Firehouse has an ingenious way of rushing you through your salad course: On warm evenings, it throws the doors open to the elements, one of which is a mischievous wind that funnels through the dining room to lift shaved pecorino from your plate of romaine hearts with lemon-anchovy vinaigrette. As the cheese flakes dance on the draft while threatening to fall into your neighbor’s glass of pinot, you’ll wish you’d have followed your gut and ordered the meatballs straight away. The salad’s not bad—it’s a perfectly pleasant mellow Caesar iteration—but it’s hardly worth risking the humiliation of decorating the place with flying fromage. So if you feel a breeze, skip ahead to the wood-fired comfort food that is turning this Woodlawn toddler into a neighborhood favorite. The pizza rivals any of the charred marvels available at Portland’s more celebrated pie purveyors, and the aforementioned meatballs, in addition to being wind-resistant, come paired with braised green beans that soak up the soupy red sauce while somehow avoiding waterlogged sogginess. It’s a deeply satisfying dish worthy of the firefighters who once occupied the building: humble and unaffected, a necessary public service. CHRIS STAMM.
Ideal meal: Pizza with spicy fennel sausage, meatballs, rhubarb crisp.
Best deal: Pizza margherita ($12).
Chef’s choice: “The one dish that I just can’t get enough of is the wood grilled hanger steak with crispy potatoes, arugula and grana padano. It’s the only dish that has remained unchanged on the menu since we opened.” (Matthew Busetto)